Chapter 137: A Moonlit Stroll
Translated by Gumihou
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“That makes sense. After all, second brother has been in charge of running the family businesses all this while, whereas third brother only studied business in theory. He probably won’t do much good here.” Su Nuan Nuan said cheerfully. Suddenly, she stopped and asked, “But, how did Si Ping get here? Shouldn’t the Capital gates be shut by now?”
Duan Tingxuan sighed, “After the alarm at the Imperial Palace and the East Palace, and then news from Pushan Temple, the emperor is very worried. Which was why Si Ping was given a golden plate from the East Palace to leave the Capital.”
“What for? This is just a small matter. The emperor’s grace is vast and mighty, surely it shouldn’t be used for matters? What if people from outside hear about this? They’d think we rely too much on his majesty’s grace and acted arrogantly.” this time, it was Su Nuan Nuan who sighed.
If this was in the past, Duan Tingxuan would have been shocked out of his skin. His wife, who had always enjoyed flaunting her personal connections, could actually say such wise words? How can it be?
Not anymore, however, the little marquis had been trained to expect the unexpected with this current wife of his. He only smiled and said, “It’s not that bad, today’s circumstances were unique. Otherwise, grandmother, father and mother’s sense of propriety would never have allowed it. Surely such bad luck would not strike the An Ping house twice. So there’s no need for us to abuse our privileges like this, don’t you think so?”
“That’s right. Also, why do you think we were targeted? Bad fortune flows around just like good luck. Only, we always want good luck to become have a permanent residence, right?” Su Nuan Nuan laughed cheerfully. Her husband’s voice was tender when he said, “Well? Are you feeling better now?”
“I’ve never been better, ah. You’re the one who assumed that I had something heavy on my mind. Where did you get that idea from?” Su Nuan Nuan humph, and stretched out a hand towards the sky, as though trying to catch a swath of moonbeam. “In fact, I never felt better.”
“Really? And what about when you asked Xiang Yun whether you’ve done the right thing? Was that my faulty hearing?” Duan Tingxuan rubbed his nose as he watched his wife’s cheerful face. Perhaps he had really heard wrong just now?
“To be honest, I know I did the right thing. Only, I’m not sure whether they will listen to me and struggle on. In the end, whether they have the ability to live on depends on themselves.” Su Nuan Nuan said earnestly.
“It’s rare to see you so calm, to think that you would even take the time to encourage them. Anyone seeing you now would never have believed that you’ve just escaped a life and death situation.” Duan Tingxuan laughter was tinged with bitterness. “Even I could not be as light-hearted as you.”
From this single line, Su Nuan Nuan understood that her little speech at the side hall must have been heard by this person. A smile flashed across her face, “Unlike these women, I have strolled past the gates of hell once. Who in that group could claim a similar experience as I? Moreover, I managed to delay the bandit’s advance through my own abilities. In the future, if I were to face the empress again, I will have something to talk about.”
“You’re being incredibly optimistic. Even such a harrowing experience did not trouble you. In fact, you’ve basically turned it into a mildly exciting conversational topic.”
Duan Tingxuan shook his head helplessly, but he did understand her at some level. It was this attitude that set her apart from all the women in his life. This unique woman allowed him to taste the real fruit of love. The love he was experiencing now was nothing like the fluff and drama of love affairs found in books, nor was it the endless longing found in poems. Those love were described with needlessly flowery words. What he was feeling now was indescribable, a feeling that took root in his heart and melded itself into his flesh and bones so deeply that it will never fade even after a thousand scouring. He knew, somehow, that this feeling will only grow deeper and more profound with time.
“Don’t tell me you’ve been trailing after me like a spectre since I’ve left my room.” Su Nuan Nuan turned her head aside, unable to look at Duan Tingxuan’s fiery gaze. Somehow, the expression in those peach blossom eyes was more like a starving wolf’s. She could see that beyond the hunger, there was a trace of wild joy in the midst of dreadful fear.
“No, I left to question the Slaughter Dog Gang. Si Ping arrived while I was making my way there, so I decided to change my clothes before continuing on my way when I saw you and Xiang Yun leave your rooms. I was curious, so I followed you. I had intended to leave without you knowing, but I could not resist saying something when I heard my wife lamented about the doubts in her heart. This husband thought, since Xiang Yun is merely a foolish little maid, she probably would not be much use in a serious conversation.
Thus, this husband of yours bravely stepped forward to offer himself up as a sounding board. Sadly, the fact that this husband was discovered to be eavesdropping by his wife, and had to admit his wrong…”
“You are being ridiculous again.” Su Nuan Nuan laughed so hard that she nearly fell over. A sense of gratefulness suffused her heart: This slag man certainly deserved the title of being an outstanding romantic. It’s rare to find men so sensitive to a woman’s mood in the modern world, let alone in this ancient patriarchy society.
“Enough, Nuan Nuan. The moon is moving west now. Let’s return and rest for a bit. It will really be daybreak soon. The coldest and darkest moment of the night will be upon us. It’s best not to catch cold.” Duan Tingxuan was really anxious about his wife traipsing about in such a weather. Nuan Nuan still carried sword bruises on her body, and though they weren’t serious, it was still an injury, right? Just because it doesn’t look serious doesn’t mean it isn’t serious, ah.
“Let’s stay a little longer. Isn’t the moon still bright in the sky?” Su Nuan Nuan laughed suddenly and removed a mid-sized gourd from her sleeves. “In a short while, dew will form. Let’s collect some. Dew collected under the moonlight is best for tea brewing and wine making. Especially dew collected from chrysanthemums. En, the ones here are all wild chrysanthemums.
Let’s go to the back garden after this. There are more chrysanthemums there, and all specially cultivated breeds with really huge and fragrant flowers, we can collect more dew from them. Dew water with a hint of chrysanthemum fragrance, there’s nothing in the world like it.”
“Nuan Nuan, please don’t play about anymore. I’m telling you, if you catch a cold don’t think you can ever leave the house later.” Duan Tingxuan was helpless before this wife of his. He tried threatening, but it was obvious from her expression that Su Nuan Nuan took no notice of him.
“Don’t be such a bore. It’s rare for me to have this kind of fun, are you seriously going to spoil it for me?” Su Nuan Nuan widened her eyes and saw Duan Tingxuan grit his teeth. “You made it sound like I’m an overly controlling husband. As heaven is my witness, the obedient person in this relationship is me, you know? When did you ever submit to me?”
“How unconscientious.” Su Nuan Nuan ignored him as she popped open the calabash and began collecting the dew from the chrysanthemums. “Did I not make all kinds of dishes to show my filial consideration to both emperor and empress? As for old madam’s birthday, was there not an order to make it special? Why did I exhaust myself making that seven tiered cake if not out of obedience to you? What about that time you demanded fancy vegetarian food for the crown prince’s diet? Did I not put my heart and soul into the food? To think that you’ve destroyed all my effort with just that one phrase. Are you trying to tell me that I’m an ungrateful woman?”
Duan Tingxuan was speechless. It was a long time later before he shook his head and smiled, “Fine, fine, fine, I’ve clearly said the wrong thing. How about this, as punishment I shall collect the dew for you, alright? Wait, isn’t this gourd of yours too finely made? The drawing on it, the flowers and birds, yi? It’s really well done, where did you get this from?”
Author White Pear Flower: Some of my older readers knew that I have a particular fondness for moonlit scenes to create a romantic atmosphere. Is there anyone who hates this kind of scenes?
[Gumihou: Hahaha, so corny, but nice too. Mostly because Su Nuan Nuan is so matter of fact and basically ruin the moonlit walk for everyone but herself.]
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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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